He sowed the same womb as his father . . . Time, which watches everything and uncovered you against your will, now sits in judgment of that fatal marriage, where child and parent have been joined so long. . . . She lay moaning by the bed, where she, poor woman, had given birth twice over—a husband from a husband, children from a child. . . . As he moved, he kept asking us to give him a sword, as he tried to find that wife who was no wife—whose mother’s womb had given birth to him and to his children.The play ends with Oedipus mutilating himself and his mother/wife killing herself. Uplifting I know. I can't help but be reminded of the torment we inflict on the gay community by insisting that they deny their sexuality. Running from one's destiny, Sophocles teaches, leads to suffering. I wonder if it matters whether one considers something to be a predestiny rather than a predisposition. I wonder whether my heterosexual orientation and cisgender is destiny or disposition.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Predestiny and Predisposition
Oedipus Rex explores man's inability to run from his destiny. Oedipus, his parents, and a few other people became aware that something unthinkable is going to happen. I focus on the sexual component because it seems that Oedipus was not particularly traumatized my coming across some folks on the highway and killing them. Perhaps the Thebes-Corinth corridor observed a version of the stand your ground law. Also, frankly, it is not hard to imagine a circumstance that leads to a father killing a son, particularly in the king-crown prince dynamic. Also, Sophocles devotes some significant energy to describing Oedipus' sexual perversion in new and different ways.